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1916 and the Parish of St James
One of the main signatories of the proclamation Eamon Ceannt was married in this church in 1905, to Áine ni Braonáin, of Clonliffe Road (Frances Mary) whom he met in the Gaelic League.
Hubert ‘Ned’ O Keeffe, the clerk of James’ St, recorded the events of the involvement of the clergy of this parish after the surrender in Easter week of 1916.
He writes ‘Fr Eugene McCarthy officially attended at each execution, being taken from bed each morning at four o clock. The prisoner having been placed against the wall and the firing party having fired, his duty was to anoint the body where it fell. On the morning of Joseph Mary Plunkett’s execution he was taken away earlier than usual and told he was to perform the marriage ceremony of the prisoner and Grace Gifford prior to the execution, which ceremony he performed in the dark prison cell in the cold of early morning.(witnessed by Eugene McCarthy, John Smith and John Carberry) Mrs Plunkett afterwards visited him at the Presbytery, during which time the place was raided by the military.
In giving a description of Connolly’s execution Fr McCarthy told me that the prisoner, who was in a bad condition, elected to stand like the rest, but failed. he was then tied to a chair but slumped so much that he overbalanced. Finally, he was strapped on a stretcher and placed in reclining position against the wall. In this manner he passed into the ranks of Ireland’s roll of honoured martyrs’.
The Marriages of Joseph Plunkett and Eamon Ceannt are registered in the Parish of St James. We are proud to have a small Chalice and Ciborium used during the celebration of Mass in the Kilmainham jail in our church. A reminder if we need it for the sacrifices made by so many for our country.